Rocky Mountain Roundup - Week 7

 A Week 7 that was light in action with only one match was light in goals as well....

On Saturday night in Monument, the Colorado Blizzard faced the Edwards Freedom for the second straight game.   The first half saw impressive defensive play on both sides, with the home team scoring one goal in each quarter.  With a 2-0 lead at the half, the Blizzard started to pick it up on offense in the 3rd Quarter, scoring 2 more goals for a 4-0 lead.  In the final Quarter, a 6th foul penalty by Edwards gave the Blizzard a power play, which they took full advantage of to take a 5-0 lead.  Edwards would not give up, and in the process took risks resulting in another goal, losing 6-0.  The one constant was the Blizzard defense and Goaltender Justin Dzuba, who made 16 saves in his first shutout of the season.  Dzuba has 5 career shutouts in the PASL, a very impressive statistic.  Ryan Creager led the Blizzard attack with 2 goals. 

Blizzard Coach John Wells had this to say: "With the great crowd we had tonight Dzuba picked a good night to have a shutout, the crowd was yelling and cheering every time he made a save, and the rest of the team fed off that energy. Overall it was a good performance by the players as we look forward to our return leg against the Dynamite next weekend. I will also be glad to have back several of our first choice players who have been away at Pro Combines trying to apply their trade at the next level. Thanks to all who came out and supported the Blizzard on Saturday night."


After Week 7, the standings look like this......

Rocky Mountain Division GP W L T Pts
Colorado Blizzard  5 5 0 0 15     One win away from clinching first            
Ft. Collins Fury   6 3 2 1 10    
The weekend of Feb.10/11 will decide their fate...
           
Denver Dynamite   3 1 2 0 3     5 games in the next 3 weeks, a huge month for the Dynamite            
Edwards Freedom   6 0 5 1 1     A doubleheader on Feb.11th to end the season


Week 8 sees only one match as well, and it's a big one.  The undefeated Blizzard travel to Arvada to play at the home of the Denver Dynamite for the first time, on Friday night at 9:30 pm.  So far the Dynamite have come closer to beating the Blizzard than anyone else this season.  Both teams look to be at full strength in the league home opener for the Dynamite.  A win for the Blizzard will not only clinch a playoff spot, but it would clinch first place and the right to host the Division Championship Game.  The Dynamite, who do not want to see their rivals from the south clinch the regular season in their home opener, also need the victory to keep pace with the Fury for second place. 

Rocky Mountain Roundup - Week 8

Week 8 in the Rocky Mountain Division saw no action as the Dynamite home opener on Friday was postponed yet again, this time due to a snowstorm.  The Blizzard-Dynamite match will be moved to a later date, not yet announced. 

After Week 8, the standings still look like this......

Rocky Mountain Division GP W L T Pts
Colorado Blizzard  5 5 0 0 15     Still one win away from clinching first            
Ft. Collins Fury   6 3 2 1 10    
The Fury can clinch a playoff spot this weekend if they win 2
           
Denver Dynamite   3 1 2 0 3     3 games in a huge weekend for the Dynamite            
Edwards Freedom   6 0 5 1 1     A doubleheader on Saturday to end the season


     The upcoming weekend is huge, with 4 games.  Friday night at 9:30pm, The Denver Dynamite will finally host their league home opener against the second place Fort Collins Fury.  This match could very well decide who finishes second in the Division, although both clubs are still mathematically alive for first. 

     On Saturday night at 7pm in Edwards, the Freedom close their season with a home doubleheader vs. the Dynamite.  The two matches pose a huge opportunity for Denver, with the possibility of collecting 6 points in one night.  If Edwards earn a sweep, it could end the Dynamite's playoff hopes!  Both matches will be shorter than regulation, with the second match slated for approximately 7:45 pm. 

     On Saturday night at 8pm in Monument, the Colorado Blizzard host the Fort Collins Fury in another huge match.  This match will no doubt be important for the Fury's playoff hopes, while the Blizzard hope to clinch first place in their final home match.  

     After the smoke clears from this weekend we should have a much clearer playoff picture, with only two matches remaining between the Dynamite and Blizzard. 

Rocky Mountain Roundup - Week 9

On the biggest weekend in the Rocky Mountain Division, only 2 teams were left standing by the end.

Friday night opened the action as the Dynamite hosted a Fort Collins Fury Club traveling with only 7 players.  An evenly played first half saw the Dynamite lead 4-3 at the break.  A three line attack by the Dynamite would eventually wear the Fury down, in a very clean and well played match by both squads.  The Dynamite won the match 11-5.  Tony Avery led the Dynamite with 3 goals while Jay Hamilton led with 4 assists.  Taylor Kendal, Travis Carey, and Jason Boyle each had 2 goals for the Dynamite; while Zach Cousins and Mark Kupter each had 2 goals for the Fury.  

On Saturday the Dynamite traveled up to Edwards for a very important doubleheader, against a Freedom squad with only pride to play for.  The Freedom would defend their home field well, holding the Dynamite to a 5-5 tie in what amounted to a high scoring affair in the first of 2 shortened games.   The Dynamite jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half, only to be outscored by the Freedom 5-2 in the second half.  Alex Zelaya led the Freedom with 2 goals, and Beto Hernandez led the the Dynamite with 2 goals and 2 assists. 

The teams settled down defensively in the second game.  The Freedom led 2-1 halfway through the second game, but the Dynamite would rally with 2 goals in the second half, capped off by Travis Carey's game winner to earn a huge 3-2 victory, collecting 4 points on the night and 7 points on the weekend.  Jay Hamilton assisted on 2 of the 3 Dynamite goals in game two, while no individual player scored more than one goal. 


For the last match of the night and weekend, the Division leading Colorado Blizzard hosted a Fort Collins Fury club who were fighting to stay in contention.  Because the Dynamite tied their first match in Edwards, the Blizzard could clinch first in the regular season with a victory.  Similar to the night before, the Fury had only 8 players travel, allowing for only 2 substitutes.  The Blizzard roared to a 4-0 lead by the end of the 1st quarter, only to see the Fury come back in the 2nd quarter to make it 4-3 at halftime.  The Blizzard would start to pull away in the second half, leading 6-3 after 3 quarters, and eventually winning 8-4.  It was truly a team effort for the Blizzard, with 8 different goalscorers.  One of the goal scorers, Odobong Obetette, led the Blizzard with 3 assists.  Cole Dudley led the Fury with two goals, while Devon Koncar had 27 saves in goal for the Fury.  Micheal Archuleta got the start in goal for the Blizzard, picking up the win and earning 20 saves.  


After Week 9, the standings look like this......

Rocky Mountain Division GP W L T Pts
Colorado Blizzard  6 6 0 0 18     The regular season champs....            
Denver Dynamite 6 3 2 1 10    
7 points in one weekend, and the Dynamite pass the Fury!
           
Ft. Collins Fury    8 3 4 1 10     The Fury are out as the Dynamite hold the tiebreaker....            
Edwards Freedom   8 0 6 2 2     The Freedom will now look to next season.....      


All that remains in the regular season are two matches between the top two clubs, the Denver Dynamite and Colorado Blizzard.  Technically the Dynamite could fall into a tie with the Fury if they lost both regular season matches.  However, the Dynamite own the tiebreaker for second over the Fury whom they have a 1-1 record against, as they outscored the Fury 14-12 in those two matches.  The Dynamite host the Blizzard this Friday night in a Doubleheader that starts at 9:45pm.

Rocky Mountain Roundup - Week 10

The 2011-12 Rocky Mountain Division season ended in fitting fashion, with a doubleheader between the top two clubs.  After 2 postponements, the league leading Blizzard finally were able to play the Dynamite at their new home in Arvada.

Game one saw the Dynamite jump out to an early and impressive 2-0 lead.  This served as a wake up call for the Blizzard, who bounced back to tie the match by halftime 2-2, and dominated the second half to win 6-2.  Eric Goldberg would lead the Blizzard with two goals.

The now 7-0 Blizzard and 3-3-1 Dynamite would play one more time, and this time it would also count as the Division championship, due to financial and time issues preventing a separate final.  The Blizzard would prove yet again why they are the Division's best, picking up where they left off in game one and storming to a 3-0 lead.  The clubs would trade goals to go into the final break at 4-1.   The Blizzard would continue the onslaught in the second half, extending the lead to 7-1.  The Dynamite would have two nice goals to bring the final score to 7-3 Blizzard.  It was an impressive performance by Odobong Obetette, who had 3 goals and 2 assists, and a total of 4 goals and 3 assists on the night. 

The Blizzard are the first club to go undefeated and win the Rocky Mountain Division Title.  (The Colorado Predators went undefeated in the regular season in 2007-08, but were upset by Albuquerque in the Championship Final) 

A pleased Coach Wells had this to say, after the season ending performance:  "We came up here tonight expecting a battle, and the way the Dynamite came out with 2 quick goals it looked like we were in for a long night. As shifts were coming in and out of the bench, I was making my rounds telling each shift to calm down and play our game, work the patterns, read what they are giving you. It was our 3rd shift that calmed everything down and began to pressure as a group, and the 1st and 2nd shift followed by example. As soon as we started playing collectively as a group you could see the shift in momentum, and the guys started connecting passes that lead to goals. Once we took control of the game you could see the confidence building in the players and it was obvious they were focused from that point on. I'm very proud of the players and the effort they put forth over the course of the season, and we look forward to representing the Rocky Mountain Division in San Diego in March at Nationals. An 8-0 season is really tough with the quality of teams we have in the Rocky Mountain Division, and I hope that we can carry this momentum and good form into Nationals. Thanks to all the Teams in our Division."


The Final Standings look like this......

Rocky Mountain Division GP W L T Pts
Colorado Blizzard  8 8 0 0 24     Undefeated and headed to San Diego            
Denver Dynamite 8 3 4 1 10    
With a strong core of players the future is bright.....
           
Ft. Collins Fury    8 3 4 1 10     Add some depth, and the Fury will be back among the Division elite...            
Edwards Freedom   8 0 6 2 2     Perhaps the best winless team in PASL-Premier?      



The domination by the Blizzard also showed in individual statistics.  In goalkeeping, Justin Dzuba led the Division with a 2.25 GAA in 4 starts, while his teammate Michael Archuleta had the second lowest GAA with 3.86 in 3 starts.  Eric Goldberg was the Division's goal leader, with 11 on the season.   Odobong Obetette tied Zach Speed of Fort Collins for second with 10 goals, but Obetette also led the Division with 12 assists.  Duane Pelz of Edwards came in 4th with 7 goals, and Tony Avery of Denver finished 5th with 6.  Jay Hamilton of the Dynamite finished 2nd in the Division in assists, with 8. 

The Blizzard will take the next 2 weekends off as they prepare for the PASL-Premier Nationals, March 9-10 in San Diego.  The Blizzard have depth at all positions, including two solid goalkeepers in Dzuba and Archuleta.  The defense (as well as goalkeeping) has always been a strong point for the Blizzard, with  players like Jimmy Wade, Kelly Robinson, and John Molet.  The five previously mentioned players all have PASL-Pro experience with the Dynamite, or the Colorado Lightning in the case of Archuleta.  If Obetette and Goldberg continue to produce on offense, this club will be a contender in San Diego.  Of course anything can happen at the PASL Nationals, but the Blizzard's depth should have them well prepared for a tournament where you could play as many as 6 games in 2 days. 

There are 5 other divisions in the PASL-Premier, and the Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, and Great Lakes will decide their championships this coming weekend, punching 4 more tickets to the finals.  The South Central Division will play through the final weekend before Nationals.  The San Diego Sockers Reserves will likely be in as hosts, plus a few at large berths.  Stay tuned for a special PASL-Premier finals preview edition of the Roundup, where we will take a look at not only the Blizzard's group opponents, but the tournament in general.

Rocky Mountain Division | 2016-17

Team
Played Wins Draw Lost Diff Points Win Percent
1
Colorado Blizzard
Colorado Blizzard 7 7 0 0 56 - 33 21 1
2
Freedom FC
Freedom FC 7 5 0 2 44 - 36 15 .714
3
Rocky Mtn. Bighorns
Rocky Mtn. Bighorns 8 5 0 3 64 - 59 15 .625
4
Arena FC
Arena FC 8 2 0 6 34 - 53 6 .250
5
Golden Strikers
Golden Strikers 8 0 0 8 50 - 67 0 .000

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